Friday, December 26, 2014

Just Wow!

I was invited to my friends' home the Sunday before Christmas.  I always enjoy attending parties at their home.  My friends are antique collectors.  The first time I stepped into the foyer, the house blew my mind.  There is so much to process in this home.  I have been a guest here at least a half-dozen times, and I always see things that I had not seen in the past.  It's always a treat to be invited to their home during the Christmas season because the house is absolutely gorgeous.  I can't describe it in words, you have to see it for yourself.  Although, the pictures do not do it justice.

Formal Living Room

Formal Living Room



Gentlemen's Den

Grand Foyer
Although this home is very beautiful, I would never want a home like this for myself.  I cannot imagine dusting and cleaning this house.  My friends have very valuable antique furnishings and artwork.  It's actually like stepping into a museum.

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Nephew's FIRST Paid Decorating Job!!!

My great nephew Ka'Run just had his first paid decorating job!!  He was recommended by one of his instructors to decorate a home in the Dallas area for Christmas.  He decorated two trees and did the banister on the stairwell.  He did a FANTASTIC job!!!  I am very proud of my nephew, as if you couldn't tell.  When he was younger, I would take him with me to see the designer show homes.  I wanted Ka'Run to have exposure to beautifully decorated homes.  I remember the first time I stepped inside of a house that was nicely decorated.  At that moment, I knew that I wanted a home with beautiful furnishings and accessories.  Sometimes I wondered if my nephew was paying attention to what I was trying to teach/show him.  Well, I guess he was.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Nephew Has Done It Again!

My nephew Ka'Run is very talented.  I taught him how to decorate a Christmas tree a few years ago and he decorated my tree for three Christmases in a row.  He also decorates his mother's tree.  Here is Ka'Run's Christmas tree for 2014:

And, here is the tree he decorated for his mother:

My nephew is currently attending the Art Institute in Dallas, TX.  He is majoring in interior design and architecture.  I predict he will go far in his career!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas On A Budget For 2014!

For Christmas 2013, I didn't do any decorating.  I did put some decorations on my front porch, but I didn't put my tree up.  I just wasn't into it last year.  But for Christmas 2014, I decided to put my tree up.  My nephew has helped me to decorate the inside and outside of my house for the past three Christmases.  But he is now off to college so I'm back to doing it myself.  Since I'm a few years older and my joints a lot stiffer, I decided to scale back my decorations.  I wanted to keep it simple.  I love the beauty of all the decorations, but I don't like having to dismantle everything and put it back in the storage bins that have to go up my attic ladder.  I also didn't want to spend any extra money.  I have tons of ornaments and other Christmas decorations.  I decided to try different colors this season.  At the end of the 2012 Christmas season, my nephew and I purchased ornaments that were marked down 50 to 80 percent off the original price.  I purchased ornaments that were teal, turquoise, gold, and green (but not the typical Christmas green).  I wove gold and turquoise ribbons through the tree.  I found a peacock to top the tree off.  Here are the results:

I have a several friends who are interior designers and they always reinvent their spaces every Christmas.  So, I've tried to do a different design on my fireplace mantel each year when I decorate.  I did buy a few things, but somethings I bought very inexpensively.  The ornaments on the mirror are 3-D stickers purchased a Big Lots for $4.00!!  I purchased them not knowing how I would use them.  I remembered that I had a mirror in my garage, so I pulled the mirror out and placed the stickers on the mirror.  I took the teal, turquoise, gold, and green ornaments and did several groups of five ornaments to decorate the mantel.  

I love my African-American Nutcrackers!  I purchased them at Kroger's.

Because my living room is small (15 ft by 17 ft), I don't really like to put a lot of decorations throughout the space.  I did that one year and it was Christmas overload.  I kept with the ornament theme and placed clusters of ornaments on my end tables and placed ornaments in a crystal bowl on the coffee table.

I am not crazy about the Christmas pillows on my couch.  I couldn't use the red reindeer ones I already have because they just didn't look good with the color theme for this year.  I found these pillows at the At Home store in Little Rock.  I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find Christmas pillows with blue in them.

Now for the outside space.  For past Christmases, I went nuts with net lights.  I have about 32 shrubs in my yard and I had net lights placed on all of those shrubs.  It was beautiful, but a lot of work.  I decided to scale back my outdoor decorating and limit it to the front porch.  I purchased the snowflakes at Dollar Tree.  I taped them to the front door and windows with double-sided tape.  I purchased new trees to place on either side of the front door because I didn't have a pair of traditional-type trees.  I put the ornament clusters on the trees.  I already had the lighted gift boxes.

I got off pretty easy with my dining room.  I have a lot of red in my dining room so there is very little I need to do with this space to make it say, "Christmas".  The only thing I added was a Christmas Tree sticker on the mirror.  Again, I found the sticker at Big Lots.  I placed it on the mirror for instant decorating.

Unless you want to, you don't have to spend a lot of money on your Christmas decorations.  Check out your local dollar stores and Big Lots (if you have one in your city).

Merry Christmas!

Why I Do This Blog

Tonight, I was watching "Iyanla, I'll Fix Your House" on OWN.  Oprah Winfrey surprised Iyanla Vanzant with a whole house makeover.  During Oprah's conversation with Iyanla, she spoke these words to her:

"This is what I know for sure, your home should be your sanctuary; your home should be the thing that rises up to meet you".
When I heard Oprah say these words to Iyanla, I thought this is so true.  If your home does not look welcoming or inviting, I think that affects your mood.  I decorate my home for myself.  It doesn't matter if no one else ever sees it.  I like walking into my home after being out-of-town for the week and know that I am in an environment that will lift my spirits.  

When I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I had a next door neighbor who was always depressed.  When I walked into her apartment, she had zero artwork on her walls.  No wonder she was depressed!  I would crawl into a hole if I didn't have my artwork.  I immediately took her shopping for artwork.  It transformed her apartment.  She also kept her blinds closed.  I convinced her to open her blinds during the day to let the sunlight in.  I noticed that she wasn't as depressed as she normally was after making those two changes.  

I know for some people their homes are just a place to store their stuff and sleep.  It doesn't matter to them how it looks.  I have friends like that and I cringe every time I walk into their homes.  It makes me a little sad, but if they're happy with their space, who am I to judge?

But if you want to change a room in your home or your entire home, I implore you to make that change.  Make your home inviting and welcoming.  Do it for yourself!

And this is why I write this blog.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lamps Can Make or Break Your Space

Have you ever put on a new outfit, nice earrings, and then put on the wrong pair of shoes for the outfit?  Okay, we have all done this.  And, we probably do this with an important accessory in our homes--lamps.  There are two important things you should consider when purchasing lamps for your rooms--size and style.  Lamps should be functional.  Lamps illuminate our spaces.  And, lamps should also look good in your space.  How do you know if a lamp works well in your space?  

If you have end tables in your living room, you probably have lamps on those tables.  Lamps for end tables should measure 30 to 32 inches tall.  This height allows the lamp to provide much needed lighting for reading while sitting on your sofa or chair.  The same applies for bedside tables.  I often read sitting up in bed and I rely on my lamps for lighting.  The same height rule applies for lamps for your bedside tables as well.  The lamps should be tall enough so that the light illuminates your reading materials.  Selecting the lamp height is the easy part.  Look at the lamps that I have in my living room and master bedroom:

See how the height provides light for reading on the sofa.

The height of this lamp allows for reading in bed.

How do you pick the right style of lamp for your space?  You have to figure out your style--is it traditional, transitional, contemporary, or modern?  You don't want to place a traditional style lamp in a contemporary space and vice versa.  My living room is borderline traditional/transitional.  The space is not as stuffy as a traditional room but not as relaxed as a transitional space.  Here is an example of a traditional space:

This space has "traditional" written all over it!

Now here is a good example of a transitional space:

Notice that this space is more relaxed--think Pottery Barn

Notice the lamps in both spaces and how the lamp style matches the style of the rooms.  If you noticed, I have transitional-style lamps in my traditional-style master bedroom.  I wanted to bring the formality of the space down a notch, so I selected transitional lamps for the space.  A contemporary or modern lamp would not have worked in the space.

If you have a traditional style living room or master bedroom, here are a few examples of traditional style lamps:


If your space is transitional, look for lamps styled similar to these.  It's all about the shade and the base that define a transitional lamp.

Since I've been in my home, I've purchased new lamps for my living room and master bedroom.  My first set of lamps for my living room were way too small. Check out my post, "My Evolving Living Room" on this blog.  The lamps for my master bedroom were traditional, but the lamp height was not good for reading and the base had no substance.  Check out my earlier post (The Proper Scale for Accessories) on this blog to see the first set up lamps.  I would not use candlestick lamps in my living room or bedroom.  I like candlestick lamps, but I think they work better on a buffet  or console table.

I challenge you to take a look at the lamps in your spaces.  If you have the wrong lamps for your spaces, it's time to change them.  You won't believe the transformation.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Decision Made!

After seeing all of the striped walls in my last post,  I decided to stripe my breakfast nook.  My plans are to stripe the walls right after Christmas.   I've thought about this before,  but was hesitant to do it because of the stripes in my foyer.  I'll still have the base coat in Sherwin Williams Latte,  but I'll introduce a different color from the color chart that I have not used before.  I don't want to over kill by repeating stripes, but I think my breakfast nook needs this.  Here is the look I'm aiming for:

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Striped Walls - Revisited

Back in 2012, I posted two entries on this blog where I did striped walls--my foyer and a friend's condominium.  I love striped walls.  Striped walls can transform a plain room into one that is spectacular.  While on Pinterest a few nights ago, I searched for rooms with striped walls.  I found a variety of rooms that I want to share with you.

First up, is a tone-on-tone effect.  I did this striping technique in the foyer of my second home.  I painted the walls in a flat finish and then did the stripes in the same color but in a satin finish.  My colors were similar to the color in the picture below.  I love this look because it is very subtle.  The tone-on-tone stripes would look great in a formal dining room, a master bedroom, or bathroom.

The next set of pictures shows stripes in the same color family, but with different shades.  This is similar to the tone-on-tone stripes, but with this look, you use the same paint finish, i.e., flat, eggshell, or satin.

I would love to do this in my breakfast nook!

I am seriously thinking about doing this in my master bedroom!

Another striping technique is a color-block look.  This is probably the easiest technique to do.  Color blocking is using one to three colors and using wide stripes.  A color-block look would work well in a transitional or contemporary space.

Take a look at my foyer again.  I still love these stripes.  The original color of the wall is Sherwin Williams Latte.  I then added two Sherwin William colors--Steady Brown (my dining room color) and Coconut Husk (my living room color).  Since I have no walls to display artwork or place furniture pieces, the stripes add interest to an otherwise boring space.

For a really bold look, you can use colors opposite each other on the color wheel.  Or, colors that create a contrast.  Check out the look of these rooms:

I love this black and white together!